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This Isn’t Good

Does anyone actually believe that Trump could find Montenegro, Belarus, or Afghanistan on a globe or map? Does anyone actually believe that Trump has studied the history of any of those countries? Why does it appear that Russian agitprop has the root password for Trump’s memory storage and is able to download Putin’s foreign policy talking points?

Rachel Maddow noticed that Trump is curiously well versed in specific Russian talking points and talks to former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul about Trump parroting of Russian revisionism on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Nicolle Wallace talks to former DEA head and DOJ official Chuck Rosenberg about possible Mueller interest in this phenomenon. And, finally, Joy Reid asks Trump watcher Timothy O’Brien, former FBI agent Clinton Watts, and former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks about this very strange behavior by Trump.

This is a really troubling as a symptom of the level of control Putin seems to have over Trump. The man can’t remember what he decided 15 minutes ago, but he can recite Putin’s talking points by heart.

January 6, 2019   No Comments

Feast of the Epiphany

Today marks the Feast of the Epiphany, end of the twelve days of Christmas, and Día de los Reyes in Spanish-speaking countries.

This is the customary day for gift exchanges in many Christian cultures because it is the day that the Magi finally arrived in Bethlehem with their totally inappropriate gifts after putzing around for a week and a half because they didn’t want to ask for directions.

[Give me a break! They bring soft metal, smelly tree sap, and bitter medicine associated with embalming to people who could use a hot meal, baby clothes, and diapers.]

January 6, 2019   No Comments

That Explains A Lot

I think I might understand why the FSB picked up Paul Whelan:

Multiple embassies are working to help Paul Whelan, accused of spying in Russia

Embassies of several countries are trying to assist ex-U.S. Marine Paul Whelan as he remains in a Moscow prison over allegations of espionage. Whelan was born in Canada and has since gained citizenship in the U.S., Britain and Ireland.

The professional paranoids in every country get upset when they encounter people with more than one passport. Citizenship in 4 countries while involved in the “security” business sets off alarms. He would definitely be pulled aside entering the US if they saw more than one passport [been there- tourist & official duty].

I’m not saying that he has done anything wrong, but the arrest may be more than the typical kidnapping to exchange for Mariya Butina.

January 5, 2019   การพนัน pantip6 Comments

How Does This Work?

The BBC reports that Trump is ready for US shutdown to last ‘for years’:

US President Donald Trump has said he is prepared for a partial shutdown of the US government – now entering its third week – to last years.

After meeting top Democrats, he also said he could declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build a US-Mexico border wall.

Mr Trump insisted he would not sign any bill without wall funding, which Democrats adamantly oppose.

Around 800,000 federal workers have been without pay since 22 December.

Hello, I have a question from the real world: How will the border be secured or the undocumented be deported when all of the people who work for DHS leave to find jobs where they get paid? If the rank and file miss two paychecks, they are at risk of their utilities being turned off, being evicted or having their houses foreclosed on, losing their cars, not to mention the problem of buying food. Any actual officer of a union who advocated for this shut down should be impeached [preferably before the tar and feathers].

As for bypassing Congress on spending money: การพนัน pantipUS Constitution Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 7

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

The ignorance and arrogance burns. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s call is justified by Trump’s action. People should remember that she is a Palestinian-American and has watched what Trump and his son-in-law have allowed to be done to the Palestinian people.

January 5, 2019   2 Comments

A Modest Proposal*

Having voted for the proposal already approved without objection by the Senate before Christmas, the new House has sent to the Senate a problem without an easy solution. The Republicans in the Senate don’t want to vote on the bills again, because Trump has already threatened to veto them. Effectively the Democrats have done their job, so it is now a wholly owned Republican problem. Don’t let Republicans forget that the campaign promise was: Mexico would pay for the wall.

If she were feeling generous, Speaker Pelosi might send Trump some consolation prizes: his own ‘wall’, a building site, and the resources to expand his ‘wall’.

* Not to be confused with any other suggestions for dealing with children or the child-like.

January 3, 2019   10 Comments

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

С Новым годом
Prosit Neujahr
Feliz A?o Nuevo
Bonne Année
Felice Anno Nuovo
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
Gott Nytt ?r
?? ? ?? ????
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Onnellista Uutta Vuotta

May you be safe from the idiots who think gravity is just a theory and fire off guns, failing to understand that what goes up will come down.

Given the prevalence of accurate timekeeping devices, it is amazing that the explosions that are supposed to signal the new year extend for hours beginning four hours before and extending well after the actual event. Anyone who thinks alcohol and gunpowder is a recipe for a long life should be avoided by insurance agents.

The new year brings new opportunities, so here’s hoping that the good wins out and the world is made a little better. It hasn’t happened yet, but there’s always a chance.

January 1, 2019   การพนัน pantip2 Comments

Have You Been Nice?

Grandfather Frost

That’s Grandfather Frost [Дед Мороз] and he is the Russian ‘gift giver’. He is assisted by the Snow Maiden [Снегурочка], but ever the jolly, fun-loving people, the ‘gifts’ are a bit different. Threats of coal or sticks would be weird to a people who are trying to stay warm, they would consider them welcome.

Generally there are sweets, maybe salo [salted fatback], and other high energy food.

For the ‘naughty’ list there is the staff. You don’t get beaten, merely touched, which turns you into a popsicle. [I told you they were fun-loving.]

Tonight’s the night – you’ve been nice, right?

December 31, 2018   การพนัน pantip6 Comments


Trump issues executive order freezing federal workers’ pay in 2019:

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump issued an executive order Friday freezing federal workers’ pay for 2019, following through on a proposal he announced earlier in the year.

The move, which nixes a 2.1% across-the-board pay raise that was set to take effect in January, comes as hundreds of thousands of federal employees are expecting to begin the new year furloughed or working without pay because of a partial government shutdown.

Trump told lawmakers he planned to scrap the 2019 pay bump for federal workers in August, saying the federal budget couldn’t support it. In addition to the 2.1% pay increase, the executive order also cancels a yearly adjustment of paychecks based on the region of the country where workers are posted, called the “locality pay increase,” that was due to take effect in January.

The move does not affect a 2.6% pay increase for US troops next year that was passed as part of the massive defense spending bill Trump signed in August.

Having cut tax revenue with his give away to corporations and the 1%, increasing the defense spending, and shutting down the government in an effort to waste money on an unnecessary border palisade, Trump decides that giving raises that are below the inflation rate to government workers is too expensive. As he believes that government workers are all Democrats and part of the “Deep State” out to get him, he has no problem with screwing them over.

December 29, 2018   2 Comments


A probably preventable death:

An autopsy on the boy shows he tested positive for Influenza B, the medical examiner’s office said Friday.

Influenza B is among the viruses that cause seasonal epidemics most winters in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Felipe was taken to the hospital Monday after a border agent noticed signs of illness, and the medical staff first diagnosed him with a common cold and later detected a fever.

“The child was held for an additional 90 minutes for observation and then released from the hospital mid-afternoon on December 24 with prescriptions for amoxicillin and Ibuprofen,” CBP said in a statement. Amoxicillin is a commonly prescribed antibiotic.

I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV or YouTube, but I had the flu the first week of February. It is flu season again, and the test for flu takes about 15 minutes. As I reported at the time, my local emergency room had me in a mask as soon as I gave them my name so they could search for my records. Then I went into isolation and the swab was taken. The hospital prescribed Tamiflu [an antiviral] and prednisone [a corticosteroid for my COPD] for five days and my own doctor followed up with Levaquin [antibiotic] for 10 days.

Ibuprofen is fine for fever reduction, but the amoxicillin make no sense for a cold or the flu because they are both caused by viruses. Further, releasing the child to be returned to crowded confinement is asking for more cases. Confining children in group setting until they have been scanned by competent medical professionals and immunized is asking for an an outbreak of communicable diseases. Daycare and elementary school are biowarfare labs.

December 28, 2018   การพนัน pantip2 Comments

‘Tis A Puzzlement

Trump threatens to shut Mexican border in demand for wall funding? Am I missing something here? I’m being overwhelmed with cognitive dissonance by this statement. If Trump somehow has the magical ability to shut the Mexican border, why does he want to build a wall?

I assume that he intends to stop those who have a legal right to cross the border, something he already does to asylum seekers. Cutting off trade that will cost businesses on both sides of the border major money every day is not going to result in anything other than making more people annoyed with his petulant attitude.

Maybe he should try holding his breath…

December 28, 2018   No Comments

The Cease Fire Is Over

I kept my peace over the holiday, but enough is enough.

A New Jersey substitute teacher lost their job for telling first grade students there was no Santa Claus. Why is Trump still in office?

Apparently the seven-year-old felt that this was one of the ten lies per day of Trump and put out the milk and cookies. Via Digby การพนัน pantipDan Rather wins quote of the day.

So Melania went to visit troops, as she has often done, and Trump went along … to Iraq. While there Trump violated DoD directives and the regulations regarding participating in political activities while in uniform. There will be counseling letters entered to personnel files and in the Air Force the First Sergeant would find something unpleasant for you to do during your off time.

Melania is much better at the morale thing than Trump has ever been or will ever be. She can organize Easter Egg Rolls, state dinners, Christmas decorations, etc. that passes for pomp and circumstance in the Presidency. Trump can’t even be an inoffensive guest, much less a host.

December 27, 2018   2 Comments

Happy Sales and Returns Day


Time again for my annual rant about a Christmas carol …

While December 26th is celebrated by a lot of people in the US in shopping malls returning gifts or taking advantage of inventory clearance sales, there are other celebrations.

It is the first day of the การพนัน pantipKwanzaa celebration, which is explained at the link.

It is Boxing Day, a celebration of noblisse oblige when the upper classes bestow gifts on the lower and the contents of the poor boxes are distributed. Under the feudal system this was part of the “contract,” the mutual system of obligations that tied the system together.

As the feast of St. Stephen it honors the first Christian martyr, but Ireland’s Saint Stephen’s Day celebration is a bit different and is the reason for the wren on this post.

However, this post is really my complaint about “Good King Whatshisface.”

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December 26, 2018   No Comments

การพนัน pantipGold, Frankincense, and Purr…

Cat Creche

December 25, 2018   No Comments

Have Yourself A Merry Christmas

XMas 2017

The BBC has an interesting article on the creation of A Christmas Carol.

The Goat made it to Christmas this year!

December 25, 2018   No Comments